Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 1 Fiscal Year 2010

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2010

Education Investments


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Governor Patrick    FY2010 House 1 Budget Recommendation:
    Policy Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor

 

Governor’s Proposal

The recession has left us with unprecedented fiscal challenges. Within just five months, the Patrick-Murray Administration has had to wrestle with closing a $6 billion budget deficit stretching over two fiscal years. In this economic downturn, the Administration is proud to be able to maintain the significant investments made in education in prior fiscal years.  Although the state is not in a position to provide any major increases in education funding, the Administration’s budget recommends protecting many of the investments that have contributed to the success of students in Massachusetts.

The Patrick Administration’s Readiness Action Agenda released in June 2008 highlighted that although Massachusetts continues to outpace the other 49 states academically, our commonwealth still needs to keep moving forward – even during the current economic climate.  The action agenda indicates that fifteen years after the passage of landmark education reform legislation, the Commonwealth is a national education leader and our standards-based reforms have yielded significant results.

Massachusetts students continue to achieve academically. In 2008, for the second year in a row, students in every grade tested made gains on the Mathematics Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exams, resulting in the best math results in the history of the state's assessment program.

Also, on the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the most recent year data is available for the “Nation’s Report Card,” Massachusetts 4th graders ranked first nationwide in both reading and math while the state's eighth graders ranked first in math and tied for first with three other states in reading.

On the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), administered to 425,000 students in 59 countries, and Massachusetts 4th graders ranked second worldwide in science achievement and tied for third in mathematics while the state's 8th graders tied for first in science and ranked sixth in mathematics.

Maintaining Education Investments in Fiscal Year 2010

Many of our students benefit from significant investments made in the FY 2009 General Appropriations Act (GAA). Although the state is not in a position to provide any major increases in education funding, the Administration’s budget recommends protecting many of these prior year investments.

Maintaining Investments In Public Education
Summary
 FY09 GAA 
 Increased 
  Investment  FY2009 GAA FY10 H.1
Chapter 70$223,152,733$3,948,824,061$3,948,824,061
Univeral Pre-Kindergarten Grants*$5,276,798$12,138,739$11,638,739
Extended Learning Time Grants$4,500,000$17,500,000$17,413,750
Adult Basic Education**$1,075,000$31,176,348$30,183,582
Massachusetts Scholarship Program***$3,001,167$96,875,218$96,818,672
Dual Enrollment$2,000,000$2,000,000$2,000,000
*Part of consolidated account that totals $20.5M
**$960,387 of this amount transfered to consolidate IT Cost Account 7009-1700
***Part of consolidated account that totals $100.4M

Early Education and Care

  • Universal Pre Kindergarten: Fiscal year 2010 H.1 recommendation maintains the number of classrooms currently receiving grants.
  • 0-3 Programs: Fiscal year 2010 H.1 maintains funding at projected fiscal year 2009 spending levels for services to infants aged 0 to 3 and their parents including early literacy programs.

Elementary and Secondary Education

  • Chapter 70: The fiscal year 2010 H.1 recommendations protect the unprecedented $3.948B investment made in fiscal year 2009 to hold school districts harmless to economic and fiscal changes.
  • Extended Learning Time: Fiscal year 2010 H.1 recommendations preserve the substantial investment made in assisting schools in extending its learning time. 
  • Adult Basic Education: Program funds are preserved at fiscal year 2009 spending levels.

Higher Education

  • Scholarship Program: Fiscal year 2010 H.1 recommendations preserve the increase provided for the MassGrant program in fiscal year 2009.  Fiscal year 2010 H.1 recommends consolidating this program with 3 other smaller scholarship/grant programs in a new line item.
  • Dual Enrollment:  Fiscal year 2010 preserves $2M investment in this program that assists high school students in participating in higher education courses.

 

Account Consolidation

The Governor’s H.1 recommendation consolidates many accounts within the Education Secretariat, offering flexibility to allocate limited dollars in the most thoughtful, innovative and responsive ways.  The following chart displays the number of accounts that were consolidated at the 3 education agencies that are within the Education Secretariat:

FY2010 Account Consolidation Effort
 FY 2009 GAA AccountsFY2010 H.1 Accounts
Early Education and Care137
Elementary and Secondary Education4320
Department of Higher Education377

These account consolidations target the main goals identified in the Governor’s Readiness Action Agenda.  By combining funds from Fiscal Year 2009 appropriations into this consolidated structure, the education departments are better equipped to direct funds toward the most effective programs that support and enhance student and teacher success.  Some examples of consolidated accounts that target the goals identified in the Governor’s Education Agenda are:

  • Quality Program Supports – Goal 1: Students and Goal 2: Teachers and Education Leaders
  • Universal Pre-School – Goal 1: Students
  • Professional Development and Teacher Quality Support – Goal 2: Teachers and Education Leaders
  • Student Assessment and Related Remediation – Goal 1: Students.
  • Accountability and Assistance Program – Goal 4: Innovation and System Reform to Create a 21st Century Public Education System
  • Literacy Programs – Goal 1: Students
  • Dropout Prevention and Recovery – Goal 3: College, Career and Life Success
  • Gifted and Talented Programs – Goal 1: Students and Goal 3: College, Career and Life Success
  • Massachusetts State Scholarship and Grant Program – Goal 3: College, Career and Life Success
Readiness Finance Commission Recommendations

In June of 2008, Governor Patrick assembled the Readiness Finance Commission and charged it with presenting alternative means to achieve sustainable education funding for current needs and the ten-year Readiness Project implementation plan. The commission acknowledged that, because of the sudden and dramatic downturn in the economy, in the short term Commonwealth’s top priority will be preserving the existing level of quality in the state’s public education system.  Consequently, the Commission determined that the greatest near-term opportunity is to seize this moment to make significant changes in the structure, operating assumptions and delivery mechanisms in the current public education system.

The Readiness Finance Commission’s report therefore focuses first on enabling cost savings and efficiencies, presenting strategies to address the following areas:

  • reducing employee health insurance and retiree benefit costs;
  • maximizing federal reimbursements to offset special education costs;
  • promoting greater efficiency and teaching capacity through regionalization; and
  • procurement reform and reducing energy costs.

The Governor’s fiscal year 2010 budget and accompanying legislation continues to build on the existing measures to facilitate the implementation of the Commission’s cost savings strategies by cities and towns. The Administration remains committed to providing cities and towns with the tools to achieve cost savings and increase the uptake of existing measures.


Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance · Rooms 373 & 272 · State House
For more information contact:
Brian Gosselin and Ketav Patel (brian.gosselin@state.ma.us and ketav.patel@state.ma.us)
www.mass.gov/budget/governor


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